Tuesday, June 7, 2011

So Liberating!

I have spent most of the first 40 years of my life stressing out about how I look, especially how I look at the pool in a bathing suit.

As a kid I was very skinny and bony.  My friends were all filling out in middle school.  I got a training bra just so when I was changing for gym class I wouldn't be the only one without one.  My brother's favorite nickname for me was Miss American Flatlands if that tells you anything.  Hanging out at the pool was embarrassing because I was built pretty much like the diving board.

Then BOOM.  The Booby Fairy visited me in high school and overnight I had more than enough to put in the bra. Which made me VERY self consicous.  Suddenly boys noticed.  I didn't like it.  Hanging out at the pool was embarrassing because now I resembled the floats.  And was the subject of a lot of attention.

My twenties were fraught with trying on bathing suits in the cold glare of the neon lights of dressing rooms.  I truly believe those mirrors are from some kind of fun house.  My thighs don't usually look this fluffy...or DO they?  Now I was picking myself apart...This jiggles.  That dimples.  These bounce.  Those won't stay put.  Hanging out at the pool was uncomfortable because when I wasn't worried about laying out in the most flattering position I was also worried about getting a perfect tan.  Sporting the perfect hair-do. Oh, the pressure.

I went to the pool today.  I got to wear a modest one piece suit with a little skirty bottom.  (read: comfortable)  I didn't worry about getting a perfect tan.  I played in the water without worrying if my suit would slip and reveal anything.  I didn't care if my thighs dimpled or buns jiggled.  I did however observe a group of young ladies perfectly prepped for the pool.  Carefully straightened hair.  Teeny bikinis that required numerous readjustments.  Careful applications of suntan oil and timed 'roll-overs'.  Sucking in their stomachs as they glided to the pool.  None of them were smiling much. 

But I was.  I was thankful to be in a time of life where I truly don't care what others thought about my weight, or appearance.  I was comfortable in my suit and in my skin.  I had fun with my kids and laughed all afternoon. 

I kinda like this middle-age thing.  It's so liberating!

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